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Time to treat advisers like grown-up

Prior to placing business with product providers, I was obliged to furnish them with details of both my company and its registration with the FSA.

Subsequent to obtaining notification of my agency number and the return of my signed agreement to their terms and conditions, I was accepted as a suitable person/company to introduce business and to service existing business. Why, therefore, are many companies paranoid about releasing details of client plans to me?

Either I am a responsible and proper person to be informed about plan details or I am not. If I am not, why am I approved by the FSA and hold an agency agreement with the provider?

Surely the time has come for us to adopt a grown-up attitude. As a registered IFA and the holder of an agency agreement with the provider, let’s cut out the pointless, time-wasting insistence on the provider holding a current client authority before disclosing information to me.

In our industry, policies are written on the basis of the utmost good faith, that is, full disclosure of relevant facts is made available in order that fair and proper contract is underwritten and secured.

In my capacity as an IFA, I am expected to ensure that proposal form questions are asked properly and answered correctly. Therefore, both parties rely on my integrity.

If, later, the policy becomes subject of complaint or dispute, who should face the consequences? The client, the provider or the pig in the middle who sold it?

If the provider is prepared to accept my integrity to act without favour or bias, then shouldn’t the provider indemnify me against misselling by including me in their PI insurance?

“Ridiculous, heresy – such lunacy could have an adverse effect on our personal bonus,” I hear being wailed from provider boardrooms. Ah, heated and vehement interest, no apathy over this.

To recap. My IFA firm is approved and regulated. As an approved and regulated individual, I can conduct financial services business. Yet, unless the provider holds a current client authority for me, then the provider does not consider me suitable to be given plan details. But I and my firm are expected to conduct business on behalf of the provider because we are considered approved and suitable.

However, should there be any errors or mistakes, then it must be my fault and even if maturity values do not equal client expectations or company projections, the provider will not bear the blame which must be the responsibility of the greedy client or the fraudulent, misleading advice given by the seller. “It’s an equitable life, Henry.”

Martin BlackieMartin Blackie Financial Services,




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